Best Bars in Footscray

Updated 5 months ago


Bland mega-pubs and expensive cocktail bars are yet to get a toehold in Footscray. And that’s just how we like it. Footscray’s small owner-operated bars and pubs have down-to-earth personalities and mostly attract local clients. Here are our favourite spots for settling in and enjoying a few with mates.

  • Turning away from hyper-polished pubs, this venue encapsulates the traditional and hearty. Experience live music, local beers, revamped pub classics, vinyl booths, a mix of tropical and house special cocktails, and of course – a pool table.

  • A petite wine bar straddling the homey, community feel of old Footscray and the newer wave of trendy boozers. Come for easygoing, minimal-intervention wines from lesser-known producers, BYO food from Barkly Street’s best eateries and a lounge room atmosphere (including board games).

  • Your Westside after-work beer is here.

  • This west-side wine bar and bottle shop, run by locals, is compact but comprehensive. Grab a bottle to go, or stick around for freshly shucked oysters, local beers and approachable wines in the colourful courtyard out back.

  • There’s beer matching, pine-lime beer and a beer chandelier. Try all five of the house brews for $50, matched to very beer-friendly food.

  • Two former winemakers are behind this compact, hard-to-find brewery. Set in a 19-century former factory, it has experimental beers, lagers pulled from specially designed taps and long-fermented pizzas.

  • A welcoming space filled with craft beer and classic books.

  • This two-storey hideout is a maze of different nooks and rooms. Settle into the eclectic front bar or venture to the cosy pool room, leafy beer garden or balcony overlooking Barkly Street. Find plenty of beers on tap, creative house cocktails and house party vibes.

  • Barbeque and a beer garden by the folks from 8bit burgers.

  • The local Vietnamese, African and Indian communities inspire the menu at this convivial bar.

  • Smashable sauvignon blanc, ciders from Spain and Jamaican pineapple gin are all on the menu at this relaxed bar.

  • A contemporary pub that swells with pride and punters during footy season. It’s also ahead of the curve, with an entirely gluten-free menu of pub favourites, plus a focus on minimal-intervention wine and non-alcoholic drinks. Pints of good local beer are a given here.

  • A contender for the best steaks in the west. This pub has long had a singular focus on great beef, and you’ll find every size and cut imaginable starring on a broad menu with French influences. In winter, the beer garden turns polar with igloos (geodesic dome tents) for private bookings.

  • Head up the ridiculously colourful stairwell at this good-time bar (by a co-founder of the Moon and Milton Wine Shop) for a very drinkable "mistake" rosé; frozen Margs and passionfruit sours. For snacks, try one of the Reubens or a spicy Sichuan eggplant sanga.

  • An inclusive, accessible home for the music scene in the west. Grab a reasonably priced jug, see a gig, then plonk yourself down in the colourful beer garden.

  • Like Lilith, Adam’s second wife who was banished from Eden, this bar follows its own path. Its ’90s goth-inspired interiors, plant-based food, bourbon-heavy cocktails and lively burlesque shows make sure of that.

  • With vintage prints on the walls and Miles Davis on the record player, Bar Thyme has an old-school charm about it. Stop by for French-influenced dishes by an ex-Movida chef, a casual glass from the lo-fi wine list, or both.